Updated Wednesday morning
Monday 18th February 2019 1000
GENERAL SYNOD FORCED TO FACE CHURCH ABUSE CRISIS
Victims of abuse address the church through hard-hitting booklet
The General Synod of the Church of England, meeting this week in Westminster, has once again been forced to face up to the crisis of abuse by clergy and other church officers. In spite of featuring prominently in the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), the church had decided not to formally discuss the crisis during its four-day meeting. But victims and survivors of church abuse have forced the issue back onto the church’s agenda through a hard-hitting pamphlet. The booklet We Asked for Bread but you gave us Stones updates a previous booklet, which shocked many synod members twelve months ago. Victims of abuse, whose comments about the church caused widespread dismay this time last year, were asked to describe how the church has treated them since then.
The message of the booklet is that for all the talk, the Church of England is no further forward in addressing the needs of victims. “I have been more of less abandoned'” says one. Another complains that “Nobody has taken charge. We remain adrift.” The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the church’s treatment of complainants as “a deeply evil act.” And yet Andrew Graystone, who collated the new booklet, says that the church has persisted in its “lawyer-led, money-driven approach to survivors of abuse.” He pleads for the church to treat its victims as “wounded friends” and to “start by asking what you might do to help them rebuild their lives.”
All members of the General Synod will receive a copy of the new booklet when they arrive for the meeting on Wednesday.
A copy of the new edition of We Asked for Bread but you gave us Stones is available for download here: Stones not Bread Revisited.
All Synod members will today receive as well a copy of this Credit card sized reminder of what they personally can do to prevent abuse.